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What is Arthritis?

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:56pm

Arthritis is the most common type of joint disorder. The cartilage that cushions the bones at the joint wears away and leads to pain and stiffness. Although factors are known to lead to Osteoarthritis, such as aging, metabolic, genetic, chemical and mechanical factors, there is no known cause. Osteoarthritis is extremely common in people over the age of 70. However, between the ages of 55 and 70, more females develop it than men. Prior to the age 55, it is equally common in both sexes.

There are two main types of Osteoarthritis - primary and secondary. Primary Osteoarthritis occurs without any injury or identifiable cause; whereas, secondary Osteoarthritis is usually due to another disease or underlying condition. Patients often experience long term limited mobility due to Osteoarthritis. While function can improve with treatment, there is no overall cure for arthritis.

There are over 100 types of Arthritis affecting over 46 million Americans.

Achilles tendinitis

Achondroplasia

Acromegalic arthropathy

Adhesive capsulitis

Adult onset Still's disease

Ankylosing spondylitis

Anserine bursitis

Arthritis of Ulcerative colitis

Avascular necrosis

Behcet's syndrome

Bicipital tendonitis

Blount's disease

Brucellar spondylitis

Bursitis

Calcaneal bursitis

Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate

Caplan's syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Chondrocalcinosis

Chondromalacia patellae

Chronic recurrent multifocal
Osteomyelitis

Chronic synovitis

Churg-Strauss syndrome

Cogan's syndrome

Corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis

Costosternal syndrome

CREST syndrome

Cryoglobulinemia

Crystal deposition disease

Degenerative joint disease

Dermatomyositis

Diabetic finger sclerosis

Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis

Discitis

Discoid lupus erythematosus

Disease of bone

Drug-induced lupus

Duchenne's muscular dystrophy

Dupuytren's contracture

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Enteropathic Arthritis

Epicondylitis

Erosive inflammatory Osteoarthritis

Exercise-induced compartment syndrome

Fabry's disease

Familial Mediterranean fever

Farber's lipogranulomatosis

Felty's syndrome

Fibromyalgia

Fifth's disease

Flat feet

Foreign body synovitis

Freiberg's disease

Fungal Arthritis

Gaucher's disease

Giant cell arteritis

Gonococcal Arthritis

Goodpasture's syndrome

Gout

Granulomatous arteritis

Hemarthrosis

Hemochromatosis

Henoch-Schonlein purpura

Hepatitis B surface antigen disease

Hip dysplasia

Hurler syndrome

Hypermobility syndrome

Hypersensitivity vasculitis

Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy

Immune complex disease

Impingement syndrome

Jaccoud's arthropathy

Juvenile ankylosing spondylitis

Juvenile dermatomyositis

Juvenile rheumatoid Arthritis

Kawasaki disease

Kienbock's disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Lesch-Nyhan syndrome

Linear scleroderma

Lipoid dermatoarthritis

Lofgren's syndrome

Lyme disease

Marfan's syndrome

Medial plica syndrome

Metastatic carcinomatous Arthritis

Mixed connective tissue disease

Mixed cryoglobulinemia

Mucopolysaccharidosis

Multicentric reticulohistiocytosis

Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia

Mycoplasmal Arthritis

Myofascial pain syndrome

Malignant synovioma

Neonatal lupus

Neuropathic arthropathy

Nodular panniculitis

Ochronosis

Olecranon bursitis

Osgood-Schlatter's disease

Osteoarthritis

Osteochondromatosis

Osteogenesis imperfecta

Osteomalacia

Osteomyelitis

Osteonecrosis

Osteoporosis

Overlap syndrome

Pachydermoperiostosis Paget's

Palindromic rheumatism

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Pellegrini-Stieda syndrome

Pigmented villonodular synovitis

Piriformis syndrome

Plantar fasciitis

Polyarteritis nodosa

Polymyalgia rheumatica

Polymyositis

Popliteal cysts

Posterior tibial tendonitis

Pott's disease

Prepatellar bursitis

Prosthetic joint infection

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum

Psoriatic Arthritis

Raynaud's phenomenon

Reactive Arthritis/Reiter's syndrome

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome

Relapsing polychondritis

Retrocalcaneal bursitis

Rheumatic fever

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid vasculitis

Rotator cuff tendinitis

Sacroiliitis

Salmonella osteomyelitis

Sarcoidosis

Saturnine gout

Scheuermann's osteochondritis

Scleroderma

Septic Arthritis

Seronegative Arthritis

Shigella Arthritis

Shoulder-hand syndrome

Sickle cell arthropathy

Sjogren's syndrome

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis

Spinal stenosis

Spondylolysis

Staphylococcus Arthritis

Stickler syndrome

Subacute cutaneous lupus

Sweet's syndrome

Sydenham's chorea
Syphilitic Arthritis

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Takayasu's arteritis

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

Tennis elbow

Tietse's syndrome

Transient osteoporosis

Traumatic Arthritis

Trochanteric bursitis

Tuberculosis Arthritis

Undifferentiated connective tissue syndrome

Urticarial vasculitis

Viral Arthritis

Wegener's granulomatosis

Whipple's disease

Wilson's disease

Yersinial Arthritis

Some common symptoms and signs are listed below.

Gradual, subtle onset of deep aching joint pain that is worse after exercise or weight bearing and often relieved by rest
Morning stiffness
Joint grating with movement
Joint swelling
Limited movement
Joint pain in rainy weather
There may be no symptoms
Limited range of motion
Tenderness
Loss of joint space
Wearing down of the bone ends
Bone spurs
Decreased ability to walk
Decreased ability to perform activities of daily living such as personal hygiene, household chores or cooking

There are many ways to increase comfort if you suffer from Arthritis.

Weight loss - Every pound overweight adds four times the stress on the knees. Therefore even a pound of weight loss can add a big releif and 11 pounds can cut the risk of developing Osteoarthritis by 50 percent.

Eating proper portions - A serving of meat is 3 ounces or the size of a palm. A serving of dairy is 2 ounces of cheese or the size of a pair of dominoes and a serving of vegetables is one cup or the size of a fist.

Eating better - This includes boosting calcium intake and avoiding fast food. If fast food is a must, go with grilled instead of fried, lettuce and tomato instead of mayo, a salad instead of fries with a little dressing, and water instead of soda. Increasing vitamin C and antioxidants in meals can also reduce the risk of Osteoarthritis. Increasing fish intake can help joint pain. Eat precut fruits and veggies for a snack. Grazing throughout the day is better than three big meals in that it boosts the metabolism. Lower caffine intake can help bones as well.

Watching less television - Television slows the metabloism and encourages being sedentary or laziness

Getting outside - The fresh air is relaxing and adds ways to burn calories.

Take a load off your joints - Exercising in a pool is a great way to exercise with less pressure on your joints

Hiking - This burns calories, builds denser bones and strengthens muscles.

Proper shoes are very important - Shoes should be flexible and supportive with squared or rounded toes, rubber soles and flex at the ball.

Lighten Up - If joints still ache two hours after a workout then next time lighted your routine. Work up towards heavier exercises, starting slowly.

Stretch - Keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong by stretching throughout the day even at the office.

Yoga, Pilates or tai chi - Keep joints strong, muscles limber and ease stress

Lifting weights - Help stabilize and protect joints with stronger muscles and denser bones

Get advise from a trainer - Learn how to exercise properly to prevent joint injury and stress.

Avoid Feet pounding exercises - kickboxing and step aerobics are tough on joints

Soak -A warm bath after exercising helps to sooth aching joints and muscles.

Reduce neck strain - Use eye level document holders on the monitor and hands free telephone headsets.

Sit properly at the computer - 20-26 inches from the monitor with the top of the monitor and the top of the head level. Also have arms at sides with right angled elbows and wrists relaxed while typing.

Wear Flats - Heels can add stress to the knees and a three inch heel adds seven times the foot stress of a one inch heel.

Move Around - Sitting or standing all day can lock the body in one position. So moving about every 30 minutes or so can help.

Massages - Relieve muscle tension and lower fatigue by getting a massage

Read More about Arthritis.......

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